BOARD OF MASON COUNTY COMMISSIONERS PROCEEDINGS
February 15, 2000
Chairperson John Bolender called the meeting to order at 9:00 a.m. with the flag salute. Commissioners Cynthia D. Olsen and Mary Jo Cady were in attendance.
C O R R E S P O N D E N C E
COUNTY PERSONNEL POLICIES
The Prosecutors office and District Court acknowledged they would be following only the economic provisions of Resolution No. 148-99 Personnel Policies and adopting their own policies.
SEWER PROGRAM LAKELAND VILLAGE
Jerry & Carol Ohail asked that the Lakeland Village be included in the North Mason sewer program. Jim Baumgartner expressed he does not agree with the project. Copies forwarded to Department of Community Development.
BOARD OF NATURAL RESOURCES
Jefferson County Commissioner Glen Huntingford expressed appreciation for support in his recent appointment to the Board of Natural Resources. As a representative for the Washington State Association of Counties, he encouraged the Commissioners to forward questions or comments to him regarding this board.
FIRE MARSHAL POSITION
The Mason County Fire Commissioner Association wrote regarding the Fire Marshal position. The Clerk was requested to schedule a meeting with a representative of the Fire Commissioners Association.
HOUSING AUTHORITY - APPLICANT
B U S I N E S S
VETERANS ASSISTANCE APPLICATIONS
The Veterans Assistance Screening Committee is recommending approval on the below listed application:
1) Shaun R. Pentz VFW 1694 Housing $400.00
2) Thomas A. Rau - VFW 1694 - Housing $400.00
Cmmr. Cady/Olsen moved and seconded to approve the veterans assistance for Shaun Pentz $400.00 and Thomas Rau $400.00. Motion carried unanimously. B-aye; C-aye; O-aye.
Mike Rutter, Facilities & Grounds Manager, requested the Board authorize the chair to sign an intergovernmental agreement between Washington State Department of Corrections and Mason County. The purpose of the agreement is to provide reimbursement to the County for the violent offender incarceration and truth-in-sentencing program in the amount of $150,000 of which $16,666.67 is matching funds.
He briefly explained the history of the Criminal Justice Planning Team for the County. Each year they take a look at the different aspects, which can be accomplished to address a specific problem with the funds available. The agreement will provide funding from Department of Corrections for increased jail bed space, address infrastructure for program spacing for staff, female trustees, a negative pressure room, storage and freezer space for the kitchen, and a hot water boiler.
Maggie Rutter, Chief of the Jail, stated this would be a good opportunity to separate felons from misdemeanors. It will allow them to have programs, which would allow inmates to go out in the community and work. It will be a good opportunity for the female population to be trustees. There is also the possibility of a litter pick up program. They currently do not have staffing to supervise out in the community. Harris Haertel, Probation Services Director, will serve as supervisor of the position
The population of the jail today is 106 inmates of which 75 is considered the actual capacity. The expansion will address 48 additional bed spaces. The inmates are on the floor presently.
There are three phases for the jail and hopefully grant monies will be able to help complete the phases. The grant is through January 1, 2003.
Cmmr. Cady/Olsen moved and seconded that the chairperson sign the violent offender incarceration and truth-in-sentencing intergovernmental agreement between Mason County and Department of Corrections, WA in the amount of $150,000. Motion carried unanimously. B-aye; C-aye; O-aye.
ENGINEERS GUILD & AFSCME UNIONS
Skip Wright, Human Resources Director, stated the final step in negotiations for medical insurance for 2000 for AFSCME and Engineers Guild bargaining units has been completed. Both bargaining units have elected to move their medical insurance coverage from the Washington Counties Insurance Fund (WCIF) to the Washington Teamsters Welfare Trust-WT Plus Medical Plan. The dental, vision, and life insurance will remain with WCIF. The changes in medical insurance will be effective 3/1/2000. This change is for the provider of medical insurance and does not change the countys contribution toward the premium, which remains at $425.00 per month. He recommended the Board approve the Letter of Understanding and Washington Teamsters Welfare Trust Subscription Agreement.
It was noted the changes are largely due to the cost of the insurance through the WCIF. There are four medical options through the WCIF of which the least expensive composite rate premium is $391.00 per month. The most expensive is $500.00 per month. The Teamsters Trust has three medical options, the least expensive is approximately $303.00 per month.
This would give Teamsters 180 employees and 80 employees remaining with the WCIF.
Cmmr. Olsen/Cady moved and seconded that the Board approve and sign the Letter of Understanding between Mason County and AFSCME, Local 1504 which provides for a change in medical insurance to the Teamsters WT-Plus Plan effective March 1, 2000. Motion carried unanimously. B-aye; C-aye; O-aye.
Cmmr. Cady/Olsen moved and seconded that the Board authorize the chairperson to sign the subscription agreement with the Washington Teamsters Welfare Trust to provide medical insurance through the WT-Plus Plan for members of AFSCME, Local 1504 effective March 1, 2000. Motion carried unanimously. B-aye; C-aye; O-aye.
Cmmr. Olsen/Cady moved and seconded that the Board authorize the chairperson to sign the Interim Agreement between Mason County and the Engineers Guild which provides for a change in medical insurance to the Teamsters WT-Plus plan effective March 1, 2000. Motion carried unanimously. B-aye; C-aye; O-aye.
Cmmr. Cady/Olsen moved and seconded that the Board authorize the chairperson to sign the subscription agreement with the Washington Teamsters Welfare Trust to provide medical insurance through the WT-Plus plan for members of the Engineers Guild effective March 1, 2000. Motion carried unanimously. B-aye; C-aye; O-aye.
AUTHORIZATION TO HIRE - LAN ADMINISTRATOR
Dave Loser, Equipment Rental & Revolving Fund Manager, requested authorization to advertise for the Lan Administrator position. He explained that when Roger Bascom took over the supervisor position it opened the Lan Administrator position. The position has not been filled.
Cmmr. Cady/Olsen moved and seconded the Board of County Commissioners authorize the Equipment Rental & Revolving Fund Manager to internally advertise and hire one (1) person for the Lan Administrator position. Motion carried unanimously. B-aye; C-aye; O-aye.
The Board recessed at 9:30 a.m. until the next scheduled item.
SHORELINE SUBSTANTIAL DEVELOPMENT PERMIT DODSON
At 9:45 a.m. the Board heard the staff report by Grace Miller, Planner, for the proposal of George Dodson to construct a stairway from top of slope to proposed bulkhead at toe of slope to gain access to beach from residences. The stairway is located on the property line and is a joint use wooden stairway located at Arcadia Shores shared by two lots.
Planning Staff recommended approval with the following conditions:
1) The structure is to be placed on a potential landslide hazard area at the owners risk. Mason County will not accept any liability from failure of the structure due to its being located on the unstable bluff.
2) The Simpson Strong tie fasteners are to be installed at all connection/fastening points between posts and deck joists and stair joists (sawtooth runners).
3) Continued good drainage practices to prevent concentrated flows of surface storm water from the upland area required.
4) Proper erosion and sediment control practices must be used on the construction site. All areas disturbed or newly created by construction activities must be revegetated, use bioengineering techniques, use clean durable riprap or some other equivalent type of protection against erosion when other measures are not practical. Routine inspection and maintenance of all sediment and erosion control devices is recommended both during and after development of the site.
5) The design for the bulkhead be revised to reflect the use of the rock rather than concrete.
Ardell Degler, Pacific Northwest Bulkhead, Agent for Dodsons, stated they have changed from concrete to rock bulkhead because there is erosion at the toe of the slope at that position. There will be access from the bulkhead to the beach by way of rock steps. It will be inset and not encroach out any farther than the face of the bulkhead.
Cmmr. Cady expressed concern about referring to the Simpson Strong tie fasteners. She suggested adding "or equivalent."
Mrs. Degler concurred with that recommendation.
Cmmr. Olsen/Cady moved and seconded to conditionally approve SHR 99-0044 for George Dodson with the five conditions (listed above) with the addition of #2 of "or equivalent" after fasteners and authorize the approve the Findings of Fact for the chairs signature as revised. Motion carried unanimously. B-aye; C-aye; O-aye.
FIRE MARSHAL POSITION
Jerry Swartos, Chairman of the Fire Chiefs Association, presented a letter to the Board dated February 14, 2000 from the Fire Chiefs Association regarding the Fire Marshal position. He expressed the memberships frustration that they believe the County has not addressed the questions about the fire marshal. The Mason County Fire Investigation Team has disbanded. He requested they be placed on the meeting agenda to resolve the issues.
Cmmr. Bolender stated from his personal perspective he has made an effort, which he reviewed the dates and times he had met or was willing to meet with the group and the Board has made an effort to engage the Fire Chiefs in the questions. Those questions were answered at the January 11 Commissioners meeting and also at a January 20 meeting. He noted that to continue to indicate to the public that the Board is not forthcoming in answering questions substantively does not seem to be a fair representation. He also had a meeting scheduled for February 4 to continue the discussion of January 20. Because it was not possible for all to meet there were several that had called to ask to reschedule. When he talked with Carl Sande last it was indicated the Chiefs would make an effort to find out when there was a time that the group could meet and reschedule the February 4th meeting. No alternate date has been suggested yet. He asked that they characterize the situation as fairly as they can and not create misperception for the public.
There is a perception in the public, which is not accurate, that there is no enforcement of the uniform fire code, which seems to have come from discussions about the loss of the fire marshal position.
The County is supportive of maintaining a connection with the fire district and believe that is accomplished by maintaining Mr. Salzer.
The Board noted it would be good to have a representative of the Fire Chiefs Association meet with the Board along with the Fire Commissioners Association to complete the discussions on the fire marshal position.
The Board concluded that Mr. Salzer is enforcing the Uniform Fire Code in the County.
The Board recessed at 10:15 a.m. until 11 a.m.
SHORELINE SUBSTANTIAL DEVELOPMENT PERMIT CONT. - GONGWERS
Grace Miller, Planner, explained that the hearing was continued from December 7, 1999 to allow the applicant to determine if they could revise the pier, ramp and float proposal to be less of an impact to the adjacent property owners use of the shoreline and view. The applicant submitted an update dated January 11, 2000 as it was at the previous hearing with the exception that they are willing to move it 10 toward the adjacent piers (which would be toward the west).
The Planning Staff again stated the recommendation to deny the permit as it is inconsistent with Policies #1 and #3 and Use Regulations #2 of the Shoreline Master Program.
If the Board approves the proposal it is recommended six conditions be applied:
1. Proper disposal of construction debris must be on land in such a manner that debris cannot enter the water body or cause water quality degradation of state waters.
2. The project proponent is responsible to ensure that adequate Best Management Practices are designed into the project and implemented during construction to comply with the Washington State Surface Water Quality Standards, WAC 173-201A, revised 11-18-97.
3. The pier, ramp and float shall not exceed 100' in length beyond the OHWM and can be no higher than 11' above mean higher high water and shall have at least an eight foot span between pilings.
4. All treated wood piling and lumber to be used for the project shall meet or exceed the standards established in "Best Management Practices For the Use of Treated Wood in Aquatic Environments" developed by the Western Wood Preservers Institute, revised July 1996.
The handrail shall be no more than 36" in height.
All other necessary permits must be obtained including the Building Permit and the US Army Corps of Engineers Permit.
The Board reviewed photographs of the area which staff had taken.
Cmmr. Cady questioned how the proposal is inconsistent with Use Regulation #2 that docks and piers should be located, designed, and operated to not significantly impact or unnecessarily interferes with the rights of adjacent property owners or adjacent water uses. Community use or joint use facilities May be located on the property line.
Mrs. Miller responded it is impacting the adjacent uses in the area by both being present and having to maneuver around the proposal when the tide is up or when the tide is out. There is no other adjacent pier facilities within view to the east or across the Hammersley Inlet. There are adjacent piers to the west, but they have been existing and more in toward the Cove. This proposal is further out projecting in to the inlet.
Cmmr. Cady stated that in talking with her brother-in-law who participated in the development of the Shoreline Master Program, it was understood that docks would be allowed. There is nobody that figured a dock is invisible and a dock would be along the shoreline and people would have to go around it. They worked a long time minimizing and getting it to a point so it wouldnt go beyond 100 so a dock could be allowed. They took away all the other circumstances that would have been possible to make it a more reasonable project. They allowed docks to happen on the shoreline understanding that people across the way could see the dock or next door neighbors could see them.
She concluded she has a problem with the recommendation, as she believed the proposal does meet the requirements. She believed they go one step beyond when they narrow it down further.
Mrs. Miller stated they need to look at the proposal's site specific with all policies and regulations in mind. They cannot all be the same design and be consistent with all the policies and regulations, that is why they incorporated alternative designs so it could meet with the surrounding area uses.
Hank Kappert, Applicants Agent, concurred that they are referring to move the proposal 10 feet west. He stated initially when they designed the dock they downsized it. They were looking at modifying the dock size, mainly the pier by downsizing it 5. Because of the length it would cost an additional $2,000. They looked at different options but the neighbors, Hildermans, were opposed to the proposal. The other consideration is the Gongwers are elderly and the main reason for building the dock is for a propulsion system that he is devising. The Gongwers are willing to share the dock with whomever.
Mr. Kappert stated he spoke with various individuals at the Corps of Engineers to address the Endangered Species Act as far as the bull trout, salmon habitat, eelgrass, and eagles. They also spoke to individuals in the area and none of this affects the construction proposal.
Pam Hilderman, adjacent neighbor, stated she did not see where any changes have been made. She would really like to see the proposal shorter if possible.
Cmmr. Olsen asked if during periods of low tide if the facility will be high and dry.
Mr. Kappert concurred it would be dry.
Cmmr. Olsen asked if the applicant could reduce the proposal as requested by the neighbors.
Mr. Kappert stated they could reduce the length of the pier by 5.
Linda Gilbreth commented that she had nothing to add.
Cmmr. Olsen/Cady moved and seconded to conditionally approve the shoreline substantial development permit #99-039 for Calvin & Penny Gongwer with seven conditions (six listed above) and a revision to proposed condition #3 that the pier (reduced by 5), ramp and float not exceed 95 in length beyond the OHWM and add condition #7 to move the proposal 10 to the west as proposed by the applicant. Motion carried unanimously. B-aye; C-aye; O-aye.
Cmmr. Cady/Olsen moved and seconded to adopt findings of fact on the Gongwers permit and authorize the chairs signature. Motion carried unanimously. B-aye; C-aye; O-aye.
HEARING - FLOOD DAMAGE PREVENTION ORDINANCE
The Board held a hearing in continuation from February 1, 2000. Pam Bennett-Cumming, Planner, presented a staff report dated February 15, 2000 with attached documents relating to the proposal.
Cmmr. Bolender stated the County is proposing to designate avulsion risk areas as frequently flood areas. There was testimony at previous hearings questioning doing that, although there May be some testimony of unproven threat of avulsion to some areas in Zone 1A, they should not be categorized as frequently flooded areas, because much of that area falls outside of the mapped floodplain and does not flood. He asked what criteria or what basis of information does the County have that supports designating theoretical avulsion risk areas as frequently flooded areas.
Mrs. Bennett-Cumming drew the Boards attention to the best available science section of the staff report and the Skillings Connolly report in particular that acknowledges the presence of the avulsion risk areas. In some areas of the report they are specific and the most recent report they would have liked to have been more specific than they could be and essentially there was not enough funding to cover extensive survey of the Skokomish Valley which would include actual staking out of the areas.
She referred to the Flood damage Prevention Ordinance, page 21, and section 5.4-2 No New Footprint Zones. It identifies in section 4 avulsion risk areas as no new footprint zones. It does say engineering reports shall be required to site specific field confirmation and documentation is necessary. The following information shall be used to determine if an engineering report is necessary:
Avulsion-related studies completed to date: (studies the county has on record);
Site review and consultation with a county engineer to assess applicability of studies to the site for determining if this is in or alongside a potential avulsion area, or if an engineering report is required for a determination.
The County acknowledges some of the information is available and that is why avulsion risk areas are identified as areas to regulate even though they May be outside the mapped floodplain.
Cmmr. Bolender again stated the ordinance must be supported by best available science to comply with the Growth Management Hearings Board. In the consulting report, from Skillings & Connolly that they could not complete a comprehensive complete review and there was further study which needed to be done. It leads to the question whether or not the County has answered the best available science question. Should the County be imposing that type of restriction until it is really known if it should be restricted.
Mrs. Bennett-Cumming added from a public protection issue standpoint she sees this as a public safety issue. If there are studies that acknowledge there appear to be some avulsion risk areas and the only reason they did not go further in staking them out on the ground is the money ran out. She felt this is a question of responsibility to look at the information when reviewing a proposal to locate a development in an area that has already been discussed in a recent study. The only limitations are for the money to further pin down the areas. In an attempt to make this the least burdensome possible on the applicant, the County would review the current studies with some of them it is possible to say it is definitely an area or no it is not. They would also review information from the comprehensive flood hazard management plan which includes flood elevations and spot elevations within the valley. That information is on disk and available to the County Engineer. It has been used historically when they have completed site review. Staff and the County Engineer would go out to the site and from that and current studies determine if they need to place additional financial burden on the applicant or if they have enough information at present to identify it as an avulsion risk area. This has been done previously within the current moratorium wording in the Skokomish Valley. The current moratorium wording provides that an engineering certification shall occur each time regardless of conclusions that staff comes to. Within the wording in the ordinance, there is a provision that if it is clear from studies that it is or is not an avulsion risk area then they stop there.
Cmmr. Bolender stated in the Engineering Report it calls out that the described map is at best an illustration which generally describes the flood zone, but is not sufficient to determine flood hazards at specific locations. The County is proposing to overlay regulations on many parcels of property, which the County does not have sufficient information to make a determination about a specific risk. By doing this, the County is transferring the burden to the property owner to prove that they are not affected.
Cmmr. Cady referred to Evan Toziers questions about floodproofing of agricultural buildings and allowing changes that need to be made by farms to prepare for changes in environment and methods of farming now or in the future.
Mrs. Bennett-Cumming responded there is in the staff report one reference to the agricultural use question and floodplain regulations do apply to agricultural uses. The floodplain regulations look at the impact of flooding on development and the effect of development on flood patterns. They are blind to whether or not a structure contains cows or a wood processing shop or a store. The regulations are looking at development in the floodplain. Flooding can effect the development and in the case of a special flood risk area the density of that development can affect flooding patterns. Specifics about actual construction standards are contained within section 5.0 and they speak to both Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) requirements for any construction standards and code related requirements. An example could be how utilities should be in floodplains; residential construction, non-residential construction, accessory structures (all are defined within the definition chapter); critical facilities, manufactured homes, and recreation vehicles. The fact that a barn is not called out specifically does not mean it is not allowed in the regulations. It means it would meet the floodplain regulations. Agricultural buildings could be floodproof according to the standards in the ordinance.
The question of agricultural development might also apply to farming areas where there is often a raised area for cattle to stand on. In frequently flooded areas the helpful part of this is it keeps livestock out of the floodplain. That would be looked at in terms of footprint. It is not prohibited, but would be subject to the flood ordinance.
Cmmr. Olsen referred to Section 4.4-2 (7) conditions for variances that allows variances for nonresidential buildings in very limited circumstances to allow a lesser degree of floodproofing. It appears nonresidential buildings would include structures for agricultural uses.
There was a question if the ordinance talks about agricultural exemptions that allow for livestock sanctuaries to save farm animals under Section 4.4-2 (7).
Mrs. Bennett-Cumming responded the variance procedure is specific to unique circumstances that are spelled out in the procedure. Generally they apply to very small lots where it is impossible to obtain reasonable use without some variance to the flood regulations. The livestock sanctuary would be looked at as development and reviewed according to the standard floodplain regulations. It is not a situation that because it is agricultural it would automatically require a variance. They would review the activity in relation to the standard flood regulations. That has been confirmed by FEMA. The County had a substantial conversation on this issue.
There was a statement that it appears no where in the ordinance does it recognize that farmlands of statewide significance should be allowed to maintain drainage ditches and keep nuisance floods off valuable crops without spending money on engineers and permits.
Mrs. Bennett-Cumming replied the same is true that a particular part of agricultural use is not called out. They are looking at the impact of flooding on development and the impact of development on flood flow. If someone has existing agricultural ditches that they are maintaining and repairing they keep doing that. There is also separately from the flood ordinance a reference to certain types of agricultural use within the agricultural chapter of the resource ordinance.
Wes Johnson, Skokomish Valley resident, stated he would like to comment on the common enemy doctrine. He acknowledged he read the Prosecutors opinion on this issue. He referred to the proposed ordinance page 24; 5.4-5 (1) dealing with levees and other water flow modification structures. He stated there are homes and properties along the Skokomish River. He interpreted this paragraph to prevent a property owner from taking any measures to protect himself from when the water overflows the banks of the Skokomish River and threatens or damages property. He felt this would prevent a property owner from taking any measures to protect himself from that common enemy.
The Board interjected this does not exclude a persons opportunity to protect their property. It identifies some actions that May not be acceptable. It does not say you an individual cannot protect their property from floodwater. There are other options for protecting a home such as elevating. It does not preclude people from providing protection from floodwaters.
Further down in Section 5.4-5 (3) ":. . .that refers to alterations that would prevent legitimate potential emergency situations shall be permitted. . "
Mr. Johnson also expressed concern about increased flows in the main channel. He thought it is better for the water to be in the main channel rather than levee and let it flow over the land. He stated he has a problem with the restriction against putting any more water into the main channel.
The Board stated the document is clear that it refers to levees or dikes.
Mr. Johnson addressed a concern about transfer of development rights from one property owner to another. He referred to a letter dated January 14, 2000 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency relative to this fact. He related the mathematics included on the second page in the second paragraph are inaccurate. He was concerned that FEMA is attempting to influence the Board with incorrect information in their letter.
The Board interjected they need to clarify how a development right could be transferred.
Mr. Johnson stated if a ring levee is put up normally it would be around a building. The footprint zone of that building should be a credit to the amount of space being taken up in the floodplain. So if there is a home that takes up 2,000 sq. ft. it needs to be protected by raising it or putting a ring levee around it. The levee would take up more than 2,000 sq. ft. The amount of water being displaced now is 4,000 sq. ft. not 2,000 sq. ft. because the 2,000 was displaced previously by the home that sat there.
He felt it is becoming increasingly hazardous to live in the Skokomish Valley because of increased flood hazards and due to the stringent regulations. He felt that the least restrictive approach should be taken to accomplish the purpose of the flood damage prevention ordinance.
The mid-valley has one escape route, over the Eells Hill Road, in the event of high water. The floodwater starts flowing over the Eells Hill Road on the valley floor with great depth and velocity. For the last year they have asked if something can be done to help in that particular location. Since the stream flows through the area the Corps of Engineers is responsible. This particular project is number 92 on the list of permits the Corps of Engineers needs to take action on.
The Board stated the real problem rests with the federal governments stewardship of the upper watershed and their regulatory practices over the last 50 60 years that has contributed to the problem they are experiencing. He was hopeful the federal government would recognize their role in that problem and be forthcoming with resources to help solve the situation.
It was noted the County did review the buyout program to determine if there could be some credit back for the overall density and impact to the flow of the stream. The answer from FEMA and those working on the flood program was no.
Shelloy Johnson, resident of Skokomish Valley, expressed concern for emergency provisions for the no new footprint and her entire residential area is within Zone 1A. She is not able to go over Eells Hill. She felt that they need to be able to divert water to give way to get through it. The proposed ordinance does not seem to enhance agricultural lands. A lot of people have homes sitting against the river and there is no protection. It appears that as long as no construction occurs the owners are protected. It seems to protect property that doesnt exist. She concurred with the comments from the Hunters, Richerts, Toziers and Johnsons regarding the proposed ordinance.
Kerry Holm, President of Mason County Community Development Council, stated the proposed ordinance has a lot of work put in it. He agreed that the federal government should step up for long term solution. He felt people should be contacting US Congressman Norm Dicks for getting the Forest Service to step up and take responsibility for what is done.
He felt the problem with the ordinance is that it is based on a density floodplain concept. He understood the expert testimony and in the Growth Management Hearings Board order said the density floodplain is not appropriate for the topography of the Skokomish River. He understood it is intended for something with a sheet flooding over an even topography. It appears the County is basing this on FEMA, which was rejected.
There is a provision on the building moratorium that indicates it will sunset on March 7, 2000 or when an ordinance is adopted. He cautioned the Board to take a look at that. At this point the County is under a state of invalidity which has a moratorium. If an ordinance were adopted, it wouldnt remove the moratorium.
The Board interjected it would lift the specific moratorium which applies to the Skokomish Valley. It does not have anything to do with the building moratorium for the Comprehensive Plan/Development Regulations.
Mr. Holm expressed concern that the Deyette Road doesnt appear to be in the new footprint zone and yet the floodwaters are in some places exceeding six feet over the base floodplain. He asked the Board to take a look at the Deyette Road to see if it is overlooked.
Mrs. Bennett-Cumming stated it is covered in the Ordinance " . . .where an existing site elevation is more than 2 below the Base Flood Elevation. " on page 21, Section 5.4-2 (1) (iii).
Mr. Holm stated there seems to be a discrepancy between the language and the map.
The Board stated Zone 1A is in the No New Footprint even though some of the depths are no where near that deep, because of the avulsion risks. It applies to any other place that is over 2 in depth. There are two reasons for the no new footprint zone, because it is an avulsion risk area and has been set aside for a moratorium area at present. The avulsion risk zones were established because of a perceived threat of a catastrophic event in a particular area. That is where the no new footprint zone was established. It was not established because of the depth of water, because people can mitigate depth of water by raising elevations. That is why Deyette Road was not included in the no new footprint zone.
Mr. Holm noted the last area of concern was the dike survey reconnaissance and monitoring which doesnt seem to be completed or will be in the near future. He referred to the latest document from the Western Washington Growth Management Hearings Board (WWGMHB), which stated the compliance date for the ordinance was January 31, 2000, which the County is beyond. At the very beginning they indicate there will be no more extensions. At the hearing they asked several times if sanctions would be requested and they deferred that. On page 3 of the document, it refers to management aquatic and geologically hazardous areas and not fish and wildlife. He clarified the County has a fish and wildlife ordinance which became an aquatic ordinance. He concluded the WWGMHB intends to make findings of noncompliance in each category in the event a finding of invalidity are made.
The Board indicated that is not necessarily the final word on that subject.
Allan Pickard, Owner of 7.5 acres in Skokomish Valley, indicated one of the first Skillings studies which was completed was based on aerial elevations and that was how they obtained their data. In the second plan they proposed to complete more study work if the County chose to hire them to look at cross sections and put in monuments. He highly recommended the County not go to elevation designation and get the national geographic survey which is what FEMA wants to talk about. He looked at the maps that still appear to be wrong where the river and Swift Creek flows according to the site study he completed on his property.
The Board indicated it would be very difficult to get a map that is accurate as things change on a weekly basis.
Mr. Pickard stated the avulsion areas are laid out on the old river maps.
Evan Tozier, Bourgault Road resident, stated there have been many years of planning. He also shares in the frustrations that are being expressed. He felt the document should be done correctly even if it takes more time.
They seem to be revisiting the 3% issue, half a foot and 17%. He concurred that the mathematics is not clear. Originally, it was proposed in the meetings with the Planning Advisory Board. A study was completed on a basis of how much could be developed without the rise of water 1, which are FEMA regulations. They came back and recommended to give .5 foot to the rise of a dike, if there were dikes to be built and a .5 foot to rise in residential. He understood the Board to state the river cannot be modified with dikes or levees. He questioned if dikes or levees why are they set to 3% cant modify the river. Originally the allocation was 3% dikes levees and 3% residential. He believed the dikes should not be referred to as dikes as they are agricultural berms. A dike is a significant structure, which is designed to modify, train the river to go down a direction. The agricultural berms are simply bumps. As the water rises, the levees and dikes have water, which comes up above them, there is water on every side and there is no net effect or net rise in the floodwater. He understood FEMA law states 1 rise in elevation of floodwater. He questioned why there is reference to 3%. They are allowed to build to 6% cap, which has been determined in KCM study. The figures are being misrepresented.
He questioned how wide the cross sections are in the Skokomish Valley.
Mrs. Bennett-Cumming stated the cross section is a theoretical concept. There are two issues; the cross section which KCM completed for the flood study and the second is FEMAs reference to development in a given cross section and transfer. They both relate to the cross section across the Skokomish Valley at a given point.
FEMA is referring to a cross section analysis that would need to be conducted on a parcel to determine whether or not the percentage of base flood elevation or percentage is displaced greater than that amount.
Mr. Tozier expressed concern that if an individual wanted to build a livestock sanctuary there are no clear conclusive ideas of what that would consist of and first a permit would need to be requested which he understood would only be permittable by a variance.
Mrs. Bennett-Cumming responded development in the floodplain is required to meet the floodplain regulations and that has been confirmed by FEMA who issues the flood insurance program for the County and by Department of Ecology who administers state regulations. As part of that, a livestock sanctuary proposal would be reviewed in relation to the flood regulations just as if an individual stated they would like to build a house or barn or any other structure or form of development that meets the definition of development in the floodplain regulations. The variance processes only apply to proposals that do not meet the provisions of a given regulation including the floodplain regulations.
Cmmr. Olsen referred to the calculations in the letter from FEMA and the Planning Commissions recommendations and noted their 3A could be misconstrued. It refers to development on any lot shall not exceed 6%.
Jim Parks, Skokomish Dept. of Natural Resources, referred to the comment on avulsion risk zones and some of them not being located within the floodplain. He referred to the flood insurance rate map of the floodplain of the Skokomish River. All of the avulsion risk zones identified in the Skillings & Connnolly report are within the floodplain.
It was noted the avulsion sites identified within the upper reaches of Bambi Farm area do not fall within the floodplain maps.
It was noted the County used the risk of avulsion at one of the sites to justify emergency permits from the Corps of Engineers in the vicinity of the Parsons property.
The Board questioned if the issue of the 6% capture the fact that the existing diking system or berm system in the Skokomish Valley does not contribute to that 6% figure.
Tim Dacci, Department of Ecology, explained he is the state coordinator for the National Flood Insurance Program. He concurred with Mr. Tozier that the committee agreed to a 3% or .5 foot rise and the other .5 foot rise was reserved to address the issue of dikes or levees or future dikes or levees. That was the discussion the committee agreed on approximately three years ago.
Al Pickard asked if the floodplains changed in significance by including south and north forks as well as all the tributaries.
Mrs. Bennett-Cumming stated the Skokomish Valley Comprehensive Flood Hazard Management Plan has not changed. The Floodplain Regulations address floodplains including the tributaries and the special flood risk area. They are included because they are in the floodplain. That information is taken from floodplain maps issued by FEMA.
The Board discussed they would like to reserve the right to go back to anyone who has testified for clarification on an issue.
Mr. Yando added that the Board has a decision to make and he requested it be accomplished in a timely manner. Each Commissioner has a huge docket of responsibilities. It is extremely important to take the steps necessary to close this out because of the March 1, 2000 deadline to the Western Washington Growth Management Hearings Board. One of the key points is even though the County is beyond the compliance date of January 31, 2000 the motions and additions to the record due on March 1, 2000 are very important. He was not sure what the legal ramifications are beyond that.
Cmmr. Cady/Olsen moved and seconded to close the hearing to public testimony, reserving the right to receive written testimony for clarification of issues at the Boards request and come back with a decision on Tuesday, February 29, 2000 at 10:00 a.m. in the Commission Chambers. Motion carried unanimously. B-aye; C-aye; O-aye.
The regular meeting adjourned at 1:23 p.m.
Rebecca S. Rogers, Clerk of the Board
BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
MASON COUNTY, WASHINGTON
John A. Bolender, Chairperson
Mary Jo Cady, Commissioner
Cynthia D. Olsen, Commissioner